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Withholding Tax: EFCC Recovers N27.7b From 6 Banks



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered over N27.7billion from six banks being unremitted withholding tax on dividends.

Also, about seven more banks were said to be on the radar of the anti-graft agency for similar infractions.

According to a fact-sheet obtained by our correspondent, the EFCC was expecting recovery of more withholding tax.

The document reads: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered a staggering sum of N27, 712,334,455.06 as withholding tax on dividends payment by six Nigerian banks.

“The banks are Zenith Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Unity Bank Plc and StanbicIBTC Bank.

“The recovery by the Bank Fraud section of the Lagos office of the Commission was made through direct intervention by the Commission and indirectly through the assistance of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of some states as well as the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

“Zenith Bank alone allegedly accounted for more than 80 percent of the amount as a whooping N26, 468,223,358.24 was recovered from the bank between November and first week of December, 2017.

“Of the sum, the EFCC directly recovered N4, 207,235,701.06 from the bank, while N22, 260,987,657.24 came through the intervention of FIRS, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, the Internal Revenue Service of other states and the RMAFC.

“The balance of N1, 244,111,097.43 was recovered from the other five banks. The investigation is still ongoing.

“Seven other banks are currently under the Commission’s radar with respect to withholding tax on dividends.

“We are certain to record more recovery by the time the investigation is completed.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC has arrested 13 suspected internet fraudsters for conspiracy, possession of fraudulent documents and obtaining money under false pretence.

The suspects are- Badejo Tobi; Abiola Dimeji; Anthony Godwin; Osoba Adeboye; Adeleken Abiodun and Awokoya Oriyomi Yusuf.

Others are – Oyatayo Ismail; Coffie Meschark; Sylvester Amaddin; Olawale Farouk; Adeniran Tolani; Taiwo Michael and OyekanmiAyodeji.

According to the Commission, the suspects were arrested on Saturday, December 16, 2006 in some parts of Lagos and Ogun States, following intelligence report received by the Commission about their activities.

The EFCC said: “The suspects allegedly confessed to be involved in phishing, love scam, forgery, spoofing and business email compromise, among other offences.

“Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

“Spoofing, on the other hand, is a type of scam where an intruder attempts to gain unauthorized access to a user’s system or information by pretending to be the user.

“Some of the suspects, who live flamboyantly without any known sources of income, were said to have bought houses and exotic cars from the proceeds of their criminal activities.

“They were allegedly found to be in possession of forged contract papers of multinational oil and gas companies, banks’ instruments and forged data page of international passports of foreign nationals, among other documents.

“Other items recovered from the suspects included laptops, flash drives, modems, one Range Rover SUV, one Toyota Highlander, Two Toyota Corolla and one Toyota Camry.
The suspects will soon be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”

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